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Mice/Can a male mouse be happy on his own?

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Question
Hi there

We have recently had a bereavement and our five month old Fred is now all alone. We have learned a very sobering lesson from keeping two males together and don't have any desire to go there again. I would like to understand whether Fred can live happily alone and have a fulfilled life? What are the other options? Not sure I am prepared to put him through neutering and expect that finding an older or spayed female may be difficult? We live in the UK.

All thoughts very welcome. Sarah

Answer
Hi Sarah,

First, I am very sorry to hear about your loss.  It's a tough lesson for sure.  :(

Fred can absolutely live alone happily!  He really only needs you.  Neutering and spaying mice is almost never done because of their size and the risks of anesthesia.  Putting a female near him is just going to encourage him (or her) to escape.  Your best bet is to leave him alone and bond with him personally.

Your biggest challenge with a lone mouse is going to be keeping him active.  Keep a clean wheel in his enclosure if possible, and switch out his toys regularly.  An old toy can become new again just by removing it and reintroducing it a month later!  You can make a lot of jungle gyms and interesting toys at home, too.  Here's a post I wrote ages ago about DIY rodent toys that might spark some ideas!  http://tinyfurballs.blogspot.com/2010/03/diy-toys-for-rodents.html

If Fred is playing (probably mostly at night), eating, and drinking, he's likely happy.  Please let me know how he does and if you have any other questions!

Best wishes to you and Fred!
-Tam

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Tamarah

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I can answer questions regarding mice as pets, mouse behavior, color and coat genetics, breeding techniques, and general health questions. I can help with caging and setup, nutrition, social issues, and what to do in most mouse emergencies (such as unplanned litters, injuries, fighting, etc.). I can also assist with questions pertaining to orphaned mouse pups, weaning litters, and questions of mating and birthing. I cannot answer questions about exotic or wild varieties of mice such as spiny or pygmy mice. *****FOR EMERGENCIES, anything requiring immediate medical intervention, PLEASE take your mouse to a professional veterinarian or wildlife rehabilitator who works with mice as soon as possible! IMPORTANT RESOURCES: Raising Orphaned Mice: http://www.rmca.org/Articles/orphans.htm Orphaned Mice Videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/CreekValleyCritters/videos?query=raising Natasha's Your First Mouse: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNK4uqNZTbA&feature=share General Mouse Help: http://www.fancymice.info/ Mouse Info and Exotic Breeds: http://www.hiiret.fi/eng/species/

Experience

I have enjoyed the companionship of mice nonstop since 2004, and spent a year caring for them in a lab where I learned a great deal about their breeding, social needs, and health. I spent a few years breeding them, specifically working with albinos, marked mice, angora mice, and satins. My education never stopped - I am learning something new every day from current and well-established research thanks to the wonderful folks at the Jackson Laboratory, as well as from my wonderful mousey friends online. I also love learning from my terrific questioners here on AllExperts - you folks keep my passion for these amazing animals alive and well!

Organizations
East Coast Mouse Association - expired, American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association - expired

Education/Credentials
Partial University for a B.S. in Microbiology, Partial University for a 2-year degree in Veterinary Technology (RVT cert), C.E. classes in pathogens, aseptic technique, genetics, and applications

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